DIY Headboard – Easy Weekend Project


A lot of these DIY posts are not only about improving the value of your home, but saving money by doing it yourself, and getting the satisfaction of creating the finished product. Certainly one of the easier projects here is this DIY headboard?

Building a headboard yourself is a pretty easy, and one of the more fun projects because it lets you get creative and isn’t too complex.

If you have a bed lower to the ground, it will involve nothing more than buying a piece of plywood from your local hardware store, foam padding, and some type of creative fabric. If your bed is higher, you can easily put legs on it or stack 2 pieces of plywood.

Complete DIY Headboard

Step 1: Plywood

Make sure you get a piece of plywood (RTD, sanded plywood, etc.) that is close to ¾ inch thick so that it’s firm, and the standard size should be a 4×8 feet.

It doesn’t really matter how ugly the piece of wood looks for your DIY headboard because it will get covered, but make sure the strength and integrity is still intact. If you get the correct size, it should not require you to cut it at all. If you’re building it for a smaller bed then make sure you cut it to size, so that it doesn’t overlap the bed too far.

Step 2: Foam Padding

You’ll want to put some sort of foam padding on the plywood next. It’s okay if it doesn’t cover the entire thing all the way to the bottom because the bed will hide the lower portion of it.

However, do make sure it covers enough to actually wrap around the back. You have options like super thick foam padding from somewhere like “Home Goods” or just a basic mattress topper from a store like Walmart.

DIY Headboard
Make sure the foam padding is stapled separately and then staple the fabric over top of it

I went with the basic mattress topper, since it’s cheaper and works fine for just resting my head against, but it’s your call. Just make sure, you get enough to cover the width (8 feet in my case) and a little extra to wrap around the back.

There are two ways you can adhere the foam pad so it doesn’t bunch up or slide over time. You can either use a staple gun or spray on adhesive. I just used a staple again and spread them out as needed. If you have to butt up two foam pads to cover the width, it should be fine but just try not to leave a gap.

Step 3: Fabric for your DIY Headboard

After the foam pad is adhered to the plywood, you can get as creative or as simple, with the fabric and pattern as you want. You can use something like a bed sheet, curtain, or even shower curtain. You could also go to a fabric store and pick out a piece to have cut to your specs.

how to build a headboard

I actually used a curtain for one of them and it turned out great. Again, just make sure it’s longer than 8 feet wide so that it covers the entire width. When adhering the fabric, you’ll want to lay the fabric out, then put the board, foam side down, on top of it.

Pull it from one side so that it wraps around the back. Use a staple gun on one side of the back of it (the side you just pulled). After one side is stapled, then pull the other side taught, but not too tight that it leaves weird lines in the front of it, because you want it to look smooth.

Staple the other side in the back as well, and then go along the top with staples. Flip it back over and try to work out any wrinkles before stapling the bottom of it.

After the fabric is on, to “mount” it, you will just literally sandwich it between your bed and the wall, which should be enough to hold it upright. That would be all you have to do for a lower bed.

If your bed is higher, you’ll need to either put legs on it with 1×4’s or stack two pieces of plywood on top of each other. You can attach “legs” by drilling in 1×4’s to the back of it. Just make sure the screws don’t go through the front, so measure beforehand. If you do go with this method, just make sure the legs are equal so that it’s level when you stand it up.

Another method of doing this is by stacking two pieces of plywood on top of each other and attaching them together with 1×4’s. You’d probably want to attach these two pieces together before putting on the foam and fabric to make sure it goes down far enough to be covered by the bed. Again, make sure the screws don’t come out the front.

There you have it, simple instructions for your own DIY headboard. Add your questions or comments below and let me know how yours turns out!

Oh yeah, and if you like this project check out the other projects that saved me over $8,000!

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